19-year sentence for man who threw 5-year-old over Mall of America balcony

June 03, 2019 06:20 PM

The man who pleaded guilty to throwing a 5-year-old boy from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America in April received a sentence of 228 months (19 years) Monday morning.

Two-thirds of that sentence must be spent in prison.

Emmanuel Aranda, 24, was charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder. During a hearing, Aranda said he knew throwing the child over the balcony could kill him.

Aranda agreed to a plea deal in the case roughly three weeks ago.

More from KSTP.com:

Child who survived Mall of America fall undergoing further procedures

Man accused of throwing boy over Mall of America balcony pleads guilty

Prosecutors to seek maximum sentence for suspect accused of throwing boy from MOA balcony

Through statements read in court, the family of 5-year-old Landen, who is still recovering, had a chance to address Aranda prior to sentencing.

Family members called for the maximum sentence, even while saying they forgive Aranda for his actions.

"I refuse to be full of anger and hatred," Landen's mother said in a statement. "I refuse to let you take my joy."

"You get to take nothing from us. You chose to listen to the devil that day. I don't get to judge you or hate you. Instead I am full of God's love."

"On what was to be a normal day for us of fun and playing, a day meant for good, you chose to commit a horrific, violent act," a statement from Landen's father said. "An act intended for harm. An act intended to kill and destroy.

"Thankfully, our family serves a mighty God who is faithful to his people. A God who intends to protect and serve. A God whose will is to protect and make all things work for the good of those that love him.

"You intended evil that day. But God works all for good."

Aranda declined the chance to speak in court before he was sentenced.

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Rebecca Omastiak

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